Good morning, everyone! Saturday is the 7th annual Boston Teen Author Festival and I am EXCITED. This year is the 3rd time I’ll be attending and it’s sure to be just as amazing as the past two years have been! Admittedly, there are not as many authors attending that I’ve read this year, but that’s probably because I have been seriously slacking with my reading this year. However, that does not mean that I’m not super excited to attend – I definitely am! I figured today I would talk a little bit about the festival ahead of the big day and try to explain to you all why the heck I’m so excited. Be sure to keep an eye out for a wrap-up of the day too – that’ll be posted sometime within the next week or two!
First things first – there are some amazing authors that will be attending this festival this year. As I’ve already mentioned, I haven’t actually read many of these authors’ works, but I’m still really looking forward to getting the chance to hear these wonderful individuals speak and meet them later in the day. Some of the authors I’m most excited for include:
- Holly Black
- I nearly shrieked when I saw that Holly Black would be there this year. Her debut, Tithe, was one of the first YA books I ever read and I honestly can’t remember anything about it, but it holds such a special place in my heart regardless. It will be so cool to get to see her!
- Erin Bowman
- Julie C. Dao
- Heidi Heilig
- Malinda Lo
- I actually met Malinda Lo a couple of years ago the first time I attended the festival. At the time, however, I wasn’t really familiar with her and hadn’t read any of her books. I’ve since read her book Ash so it’ll be kind of cool to hear her speak and talk to her this time actually having read something she’s written.
- Kim Savage
- Kiersten White
There are a ton of other authors that I’m really excited about too, but I figured I’d just list a few of the highlights. If you’d like to see the other authors who will be there, head over to the BTAF website and see the full list!
In the past, BTAF did two sets of panels that were each presented twice. This year they’re trying something new, having 4 completely different sets of panels that are each presented only once. I have kind of mixed feelings on this. I really like that each panel will be a truly unique experience and I like that authors will have the chance to discuss their work in unique ways each time. I’m also a BIG fan of the fact that there is a lunch break scheduled into the day so you don’t have to miss out on a panel to eat. However, it’s going to kill me slightly that it means if there are two panels at the same time that I really want to attend, I can’t see both eventually. I’m sure it’ll all work out though. Here are some of the panels that really caught my eye:
- To Be Continued (Session 1)
- This panel is about the different ways to write series and the challenges writing them presents. Julie C. Dao and Kiersten White are both on this panel which excites me. I’ve always been pretty interested in what it’s like to actually write a series, so this panel is one I’m definitely looking into.
- Honestly, Though (Session 2)
- This panel features authors who talk about difficult parts of the teenage experience. Those of you who have been around for a while know that I LOVE books that explore tough topics so obviously this panel stuck out to me as one I’d like to go to.
- Sorry, Not Sorry (Session 3)
- Both my mom (who is going with me) and I are interested in this one, so I’m sure I’ll be making my way over to it this year. It discusses whether or not the characters in the authors’ books are “unlikeable” or just ambitious female characters and why the two are so often equated with one another. Y’all know I am always down for a good feminist discussion.
- Talking Touchstones (Session 4)
- As a big fan of SFF stories, this panel is particularly interesting to me. Authors will be discussing how they create intriguing worlds that are still relatable and somewhat familiar to readers.
I’m sure you can tell just by these few selections that there will be a lot of great discussions happening throughout the day. If you’d like to see the rest of the panels and/or the official descriptions for these ones, check out the BTAF website.
Given the authors attending and the panels being presented, it’s probably not a huge surprise that I’m really looking forward to going to this, is it? They’re selling some awesome merch this year, too. AND they announced in their most recent newsletter that there will be ARC drops throughout the day which is super exciting! Saturday really can’t come soon enough. The past two years have been so much fun and I cannot wait to add another year’s worth of BTAF memories!